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Energy governance in the context of energy service security: A qualitative assessment of the electricity system in Bangladesh

Rafia Zaman and Thomas Brudermann

Applied Energy, 2018, vol. 223, issue C, 443-456

Abstract: Soaring energy demand in developing Asian countries presents a challenge for existing centralized systems and monopolistic electric utilities since these often fail to reliably provide energy service security. Inclusive energy governance could serve as a hedging mechanism against several inherent problems such as supply disruptions and corruption practices, and thus improve energy service security. This study therefore (i) proposes a conceptual framework for energy governance in developing countries and (ii) applies this framework to qualitatively assess the energy service security perspectives of the electricity system in Bangladesh via an interpretive research approach. Relevant governance indicators were first identified in an inductive thematic analysis of systematically selected literature. Bangladesh’s electricity system was then subsequently qualitatively analyzed on the basis of secondary data and official reports. The findings indicate the presence of weak institutions in the electricity sector and a lack of market competition, and the need for consistent policy implementation, proper pricing and information disclosure mechanisms. In addition, other challenges such as endemic corruption and bureaucratic complexities, underdeveloped grids and insufficient resource logistics also need to be addressed. While international interventions and national policies favor a heavy take-up of fossil fuels in order to achieve energy security and energy equity, environmental sustainability is largely ignored. The study concludes that the integration of energy governance and energy security perspectives is crucial to understanding and addressing the challenges of a just energy transition in the face of the standard energy trilemma in developing countries.

Keywords: Energy governance; Energy security; Electricity system; Developing countries; Fossil fuels (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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